Best Material for Your Electronics Board

What’s the best material to build your electronics board with. We are in weight reduction mode and wanted to get some additional ideas. Thanks for any suggestions.

we use polycarb

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Baltic birch plywood

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We use plastic (polycarb?) with holes in it. Great for using zipties!

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Coroplast should do the job if you want to get super light.

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Compbond, aluminum plastic composite. Its pretty cheap and really strong

We use Lexan for ours.

We use this perforated polycarb.

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poly carbonate or really thin aluminum sheet metal

We use polycarb:

  • Transparent
  • Non-conductive
  • Can stick adhesive backed velcro to it
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Why that specific type of plywood?

Baltic birch is voidless, strong, and light; much more so than typical Home Depot stuff

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Ah I see. Thanks thanks

We use very thin sheet metal and the double-sided 3M foam tape from the KoP. Your electronics will never move, but it takes a flathead screwdriver and a good amount of force to pry them off if need be.

We use Lexan, usually tap the holes instead of using nuts.

We were in a hurry this year, and used 0.10 inch thick Lexan, and double sticky tape to attach parts. It seems to work.

we use 1/4in thick lexan and cut the holes four mounting everything with our CNC router. Then we have freshman tap the holes and screw the components into them.

Velcro is acceptable for the roborio and radio. Zip ties are OK for spark Max. Everything else should be held down with screws to prevent them from coming loose. Never use double side tape to stick electronics down unless you never want to remove them.

We’ve used a few materials for our electronics board over the past few years.

2017 we used perforated aluminum, which held okay but eventually broke in half and gave us brownouts for multiple matches at Houston. So we scrapped that.

2018, since our robot was slower, we took a risk and tried acrylic as it could easily be cut to a plan on a benchtop laser. We definitely don’t recommend it. Even though it looked pretty, it was covered in gorilla tape holding the shattered parts together by the end of the season. We also screwed everything in that year, but it was more hassle than it was worth, especially after some of the nuts were falling off.

This year, since we anticipated our robot would be taking a beating under defense, we used 1/8inch polycarbonate riveted to an aluminum 1x1inch frame underneath. The frame was to limit any flexing of the board, keeping wires from pulling between connections. We ditched the screws entirely and zip tied everything, since it would be less stress on the polycarb and the electronics were light. This worked perfectly. The original plan was to have the board cut on a router, but doing it by hand was perfectly fine, as long as you planned ahead. Zip ties don’t need to be accurately placed.

This board has been flawless, even under the hard-hitting defense we’ve been performing this season. Plus, we’ve gotten a lot of compliments for our board both by other teams and by inspectors.

I’ve used a metal grid sheet in the past, kind of like this:


It’s very light and durable and the we would zip tie all our electrical components on top. It can be mounted pretty much anywhere.

Our team uses DiBond, a 3mm thick aluminum/polyurethane composite. Super light, easy to manufacture, and fairly robust. We generally bolt all the electronics down.

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